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Klopp: Adrián, Kelleher, and the Goalkeeping Situation

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After the young Irishman’s strong midweek performance, should we expect to see him start at the weekend?

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Jurgen Klopp gives Caoimhin Kelleher a hug following the final whistle after the team’s victory in the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and Ajax Amsterdam at Anfield on December 01, 2020 in Liverpool,
Jurgen Klopp gives Caoimhin Kelleher a hug following the final whistle after the team’s victory in the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and Ajax Amsterdam at Anfield on December 01, 2020 in Liverpool,
Photo by Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images

After the final whistle midweek few missed how manager Jürgen Klopp rushed immediately onto the pitch to hug his goalkeeper, who had made four strong saves and kept a clean sheet in the youngster’s debut in European competition.

It was only his fifth appearance for the Reds, and his selection for such an important game is suggestive of his manager’s faith in his ability — and his future ceiling. His choice came as some surprise, as Adrián has been established as the team’s number two for the past two seasons.

Alisson is sidelined with a hamstring issue and will not feature against Wolves at the weekend, so many wonder if Kelleher will feature again against Wolves this weekend.

In his pre-match press conference, Klopp commented glowingly on the Irishman’s performance in Europe.

“He looked good but he’s a really calm person and he will not be now flying the whole of the week. He is a hard worker and there’s no doubt that he will deal with all the fuss around him really well,” replied Klopp.

The manager was keen to emphasize that he felt Kelleher had proved himself up for the task long before he got his chance, but didn’t quite come out and say that fans should expect to see him in the Premier League at the weekend.

“Caoimhin did well. So, there are not a lot of reasons I could mention in this moment to say he will not start against Wolves, but there is training in between and other things, he has to stay fit, we have sessions. All this kind of stuff.

“But he has done enough to convince me, but he did that already months and years ago. Sometimes you have wait for the right moment and we thought the right moment came on Tuesday.”

He did give Adrián credit for especially his attitude, and confirms that the Spaniard is still in the mix.

“But Adrian doesn’t deserve just to be written off now, there’s no reason for that. He supported Caoimhin in an exceptional way. After he got the information that he would not start, he behaved unbelievably. Really, really a lot of respect for that. He expected it actually, but anyway a lot of respect for it.”

Like in many of Klopp’s injury-related press conferences of late, the manager played his cards close to the chest. We don’t know who will start at the weekend, but we can certainly have our hunches.